Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Public safety

Police recover bricks, pipe from Tampa rooftop

TAMPA — Chiropractor Joseph Papia climbed to the roof of his downtown business Friday, scouting the best way to fence off the flat-topped structure before the Republican National Convention.

That's when he noticed a pile of bricks and a stenciled painting of Guy Fawkes next to the number "99."

Police think the bricks — and a pipe discovered Monday — likely would have been used as weapons during next week's convention. They confiscated the items at 1000 N Florida Ave. as evidence and continue to investigate.

"It's disconcerting," police Chief Jane Castor said Tuesday. "But it's not surprising."

Talk has been circulating about similar discoveries, but Castor declined to confirm anything.

This recent discovery, along with a threatening YouTube video posted last week, hint at some of the problems Tampa could see next week.

In the video, a person in a Guy Fawkes mask — a symbol of revolution that Anonymous and the Occupy movement have used — promises these groups will be "fighting for freedom" next week. They are not pacifists, a distorted female voice states.

"It is a fact that the flowers and holding up signs stopped working long ago," she says. Historically violent groups expected at the RNC include Anonbloc and Black Bloc. The woman tells the public not to be afraid. These groups will not harm private citizens, she says.

But Tampa police Assistant Chief John Bennett said the video's tone is threatening and could dissuade peaceful protesters from going downtown next week. "This sense of fear is an inhibitor to free speech," he said.

Meanwhile, Papia said he hopes other businesses will check their roofs. Castor encouraged business owners to call police if they see anything suspicious.

Papia thinks anarchists probably planned to throw the bricks down at passing motorists on Tyler Street, which will be open to traffic. His business, near the newly renovated Floridan Hotel, is nearly a dozen blocks from the established protest zone.

"It is not uncommon for groups, especially those that want to disrupt or commit specific crimes, to do so away from the organized demonstrations," Castor said.

Police are prepared, she said. And so is Papia. He has finalized plans to fence off his roof this week.

Then, he says, he's getting out of town.

Times staff writer Richard Danielson contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.

Comments
Shooter in Clearwater stand your ground case to make first appearance before judge

Shooter in Clearwater stand your ground case to make first appearance before judge

LARGO — Michael Drejka, the man accused of killing Markeis McGlockton in a shooting that reignited a debate over Florida’s stand your ground law, will make his first appearance before a judge today. While the 1:30 p.m. showing is largely...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Guest charged with kicking, punching Florida hotel staff

Guest charged with kicking, punching Florida hotel staff

CAPE CORAL — A Pennsylvania woman has been arrested after she was accused of kicking, punching and ripping out the hair of staff at a Florida hotel. Cape Coral Police say 23-year-old Tara Hegarty became enraged when she couldn’t prove she was a guest...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Stand your ground now means we must read the mind of an accused killer

Stand your ground now means we must read the mind of an accused killer

Today, the liberals are doing a victory dance. And the conservatives are resting easier. Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe has done them all a huge favor by bringing a manslaughter charge against convenience store shooter Michael Drejka. ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Shooter charged with manslaughter in Clearwater stand your ground case

Shooter charged with manslaughter in Clearwater stand your ground case

Frustration and anticipation have packed the roughly three weeks since Michael Drejka shot Markeis McGlockton in a convenience store parking lot in a case that has reignited the debate over Florida’s stand your ground law.And on Monday, it took a dra...
Updated: 9 hours ago
How prosecutors decided to charge Michael Drejka, shooter in controversial stand your ground case

How prosecutors decided to charge Michael Drejka, shooter in controversial stand your ground case

Prosecutors on Monday decided to charge 48-year-old Michael Drejka with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Markeis McGlockton, a major development in a case that has drawn national scrutiny over Florida’s stand your ground law.CHARGES FILED: Shoot...
Published: 08/13/18
What they’re saying: Reaction to the arrest of Michael Drejka in Markeis McGlockton shooting

What they’re saying: Reaction to the arrest of Michael Drejka in Markeis McGlockton shooting

The arrest of Michael Drejka in the controversial shooting of Markeis McGlockton drew loud approval Monday as a welcome development for family, advocacy groups and local elected officials in Florida.CHARGES FILED: Shooter charged with manslaughter in...
Published: 08/13/18
Prosecutors drop BUI case against Hillsborough sheriff’s deputy

Prosecutors drop BUI case against Hillsborough sheriff’s deputy

TAMPA — A Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy arrested on a boating under the influence charge last month is in the clear after prosecutors declined to move forward with the case.Still unclear, however, is whether Alexander Craver will get his job b...
Published: 08/13/18
Deputies: Polk man was viewing child porn at medical facility

Deputies: Polk man was viewing child porn at medical facility

A Frostproof man faces 68 counts of child pornography and a charge of sexual battery on a child, according to the according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.Keith Garrard Sr., 63, was arrested by Highlands County deputies after staff members at a ...
Published: 08/13/18
Baltimore police officer resigns after viral video of him pummeling a man who was not fighting back

Baltimore police officer resigns after viral video of him pummeling a man who was not fighting back

On the same day the Baltimore Police Department graduated the city’s future men and women in blue, the agency suspended an officer who was captured on video pummeling a man on the street. The department announced late Sunday it had accepted the offic...
Published: 08/13/18

Clearwater motorcyclist remains in critical condition after Sunday morning crash

CLEARWATERmotorcyclist critical after causeway crashA motorcyclist is in critical condition following a crash Sunday morning on the Clearwater Memorial Causeway, police reported.Mahmoud Sousi, 29, of Clearwater, was riding a 2011 Suzuki westbound on ...
Published: 08/12/18